Editorial Team   |   January 21, 2018

A Cut Above

Trimming is a vital part of the cannabis cultivation process that removes undesirable leaves from the bud, making a smoother smoking experience for consumers. Hand-trimmed has been the standard practice due to the quality professional trimmers provide. However, quality trimming doesn’t necessarily have to mean “hand-trimmed” anymore.
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Quality, Cost and Time

Quality of trim is paramount. Lousy trim means loss of product, time and money. Trimming too close will result in valuable weight loss and may ruin the bud. The trim itself should also be conserved, as it contains cannabinoids used for edible or topical products. Cultivators must take these factors into consideration when faced with the question of hand versus machine trimming. 

Hand-trimmers produce an average of one pound per day, with labor cost around $12 an hour. Thus, when labor costs become too high due to the scaling of production, cultivators seek solutions to cut down on cost and time. 

The average automatic trimmer produces several pounds per hour. If time is money, an automatic trimmer can replace an entire trimming team to save on labor costs and time, perhaps without sacrificing quality.

 

Methods of Trimming

Two primary methods used in trimming is wet trim and dry trim. Trimming wet occurs after the plant harvest and before drying. Dry trim takes place after drying, but before the cure. Knowing which method will be applied is essential to understand better what options are available. 

Commercial-size operations often employ one of these solutions to help reduce labor costs while preserving quality and increasing efficiency. Each trimmer offers a unique solution to accommodate a range of trimming needs. The following are popular trimmers that have been tried and tested in the industry. 

 

Twister Trimmers

 

Video is courtesy of Twister Trimmer.

Twister trimmers are designed with streamlining and scalability in mind, with the ability to connect multiple units together to maximize efficiency. By slightly tilting the machine, gravity to moves the buds through the system collecting in a container on the other side. The rotating blade acts like scissors as the bud tumbles through the cylinder. When attached to the trim collection bag, the T2 collects any trim it cuts reducing product loss significantly. The T2 is their flagship product and largest of all their units, which can trim 15-19lbs. dry and 77-85lbs. wet per hour. Smaller models include the T4 and T6.

Pros:

  • Easy to use.
  • Can trim wet or dry flower by changing tumbler.
  • Easy disassemble for cleaning and maintenance.
  • Can be linked up to double or triple production volume.

Cons:

  • Very Loud.
  • Requires lubricating the blades which could affect flower quality.
  • Needs to be calibrated and cleaned often.
  • No airflow control, suction too strong.

 

CenturionPro Trimmers

 

CenturionPro Gladiator vs 15 Hand Trimmers. Video is courtesy of CenturionPro.

CenturionPro also offers a commercial-sized, Gladiator. Utilizing two tumblers to carry the flower over blades which trim the bud, the Gladiator produces twice the volume of their smaller units, the CenuturionPro Original and CenturionPro Mini. Volume separates the Gladiator from its competitors, with the ability to trim more weight per hour for around the same price. The CenturionPro Gladiator can trim 28-32lbs. dry and 140-160lbs. wet per hour.

Pros:

  • Does not require lubrication
  • Can trim wet or dry flower by changing tumblers
  • Diverter to control airflow
  • Double the volume per hour

Cons:

  • Very loud
  • Can blow product out from diverter
  • Eats up delicate product
  • Difficult to align blades

 

EZTRIM

 

Video is courtesy of EZTRIM. 

Functionality defines EZTRIM Satellite as an all-in-one solution for commercial harvest needs. As the only large automatic trimmer which allows the operator to control every moving part, the EZTRIM is exceptionally versatile. Operators have full control of the blade and fan speeds, as well as, silicon fingers which gently move the product around for an even trim. Key features with the EZTRIM Satellite include the micron filtration system which separates trim as it’s collected, work tables on each end, and even speakers for music or broadcasting. The EZTRIM Satellite produces 25-30lbs. dry and 25-30lbs. wet per hour.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Triple filter collection system
  • Gentle on the product
  • Full control motor and airflow

Cons:

  • Product can stick to blades
  • Requires further touch up of product
  • Less volume per hour than similarly priced trimmers
  • Tedious to clean

 

Triminator Trimmers

Triminator XL Dry image is courtesy of Triminator.

Triminator XL Dry produces the highest volume of dry trim on the market. Keeping the operator in mind, the Triminator XL is designed with a pivoting tumbler to reduce bending and back straining. Triminator uses a food grade tumbler which eliminates any steel on steel friction or need for lubricants. No fan is used, minimizing product loss due to a strong suction. The Triminator XL Dry can trim up to 60lbs dry per hour.

Pros:

  • Pivoting drum for fast, easy loading
  • Industry's largest dry bin
  • Processes high volumes of product compared to others in the same price range
  • Zero fan closed-loop system capturing 100% of trim

Cons:

  • Only dry trim
  • Product can stick to tumbler
  • Not a close cut
  • Calibration needed often

While many trimmers are available for a wide variety of uses, cultivators should determine their approach and their priorities when evaluating which machine is right for their operation. Whether wet trimming or dry trimming, quality trimming doesn’t necessarily have to mean “hand-trimmed” anymore. 

 

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